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keepi:n'gi-  of  neghoesj 



"  Forasmuch  as  ye  did  it  to  the  least  of  tliese  my  brethren,  ye  did  it  unto  me,"- 

Matt,  ax  v.  40. 









What  I  write  on  this  subject  is  with  reluctance,  and  the  hints 
given  are  in  as  general  terms  as  my  concern  would  allow.  I 
know  it  is  a  point  about  which,  in  all  its  branches,  men  that 
appear  to  aim  well  are  not  generally  agreed ;  and  for  that  reason 
I  chose  to  avoid  being  very  particular.  If  I  may  happily  let 
drop  any  thing  that  may  excite  such  as  are  concerned  in  the 
practice  to  a  close  thinking  on  the  subject  treated  of,  the  candid 
amongst  them  may  easily  do  the  subject  such  further  justice,  as 
on  an  impartial  inquiry  it  may  appear  to  deserve ;  and  such  an 
inquiry  I  would  earnestly  recommend. 

[Tract  No.  1,  of  this  Series,  is  a  Memoir  of  John  Woolman.] 




As  many  times  there  are  different  motives  to  the  same  action  ; 
and  one  does  that  from  a  generous  heart,  which  another  does  for 
selfish  ends ;  the  like  may  be  said  in  this  case. 

There  are  various  circumstances  among  those  that  keep  ne- 
groes, and  different  ways  by  which  they  fall  under  their  care ; 
and  I  doubt  not,  there  are  many  well  disposed  persons  amonofst 
them  who  desire  rather  to  manage  ^X'isely  and  justly  in  this  diffi- 
cult matter,  than  to  make  gain  of  it. 

But  the  general  disadvantage  which  these  poor  negroes  lie 
under  in  an  enhghtened  Christian  country,  having  often  filled  me 
with  real  sadness,  I  now  think  it  my  duty,  through  Di^nne  aid,  to 
offer  some  thoughts  thereon  to  the  consideration  of  others. 

When  we  remember  that  all  nations  are  of  one  blood,  (Gen. 
lii.  20,)  that  in  this  world  we  are  but  sojourners,  that  we  are  sub- 
ject to  the  like  afflictions  and  infirmities  of  body,  the  like  disorders 
and  frailties  in  mind,  the  like  temptations,  the  same  death,  and 
the  same  judgment,  and  that  the  all-wise  Being  is  Judge  and 
Lord  over  us  all,  it  seems  to  raise  an  idea  of  general  brotherhood, 
and  a  disposition  easy  to  be  touched  with  a  feeling  of  each  other's 
afflictions  :  but  when  we  forget  those  things,  and  look  chiefly  at 
our  outward  circumstances,  in  this  and  some  ages  past,  constantly 
retaining  in  our  minds  the  distinction  between  us  and  them,  with 
respect  to  our  knowledge  and  improvement  in  things  Divine, 
natural  and  artificial,  our  breasts  being  apt  to  be  filled  with  fond 
notions  of  superioi  ity,  there  is  danger  of  erring  in  our  conduct 
toward  ihem. 


(  4  ) 

We  allow  them  to  be  of  the  same  species  with  ourselves  ; 
odds  is,  we  are  in  a  higher  station,  and  enjoy  greater  favoi 
than  they.     And  when  it  is  thus  that  our  heavenly  Father  e 
doweth  some  of  his  children  with  distinguished  gifts,  they  a^v 
intended  for  good  ends  ;  but  if  those  thus  gifted  are  thereby  hfted 
Tip  above  their  brethren,  not  considering  themselves  as  debtors  to 
the  weak,  nor  behaving  themselves  as  faithful  stewards,  none  who 
judge  impartially  can  suppose  them  free  from  ingratitude. 

When  a  people  dwell  under  the  liberal  distribution  of  favours 
from  heaven,  it  behoves  them  carefully  to  inspect  their  ways,  and 
consider  the  purposes  for  which  those  favours  are  bestowed,  lest, 
through  forgetfulness  of  God  and  misusing  his  gifts,  they  incur 
his  heavy  displeasure,  whose  judgments  are  just  and  equal,  who 
exalteth  and  humbleth  to  the  dust,  as  he  seeth  meet. 

It  appears,  by  Holy  Record,  that  men  under  high  favours  have 
been  apt  to  err  in  their  opinions  concerning  others.  Thus  Israel, 
according  to  the  description  of  the  prophet,  Isa.  Ixv.  5,  when  ex- 
ceedingly corrupted  and  degenerated,  yet  remembered  they  were 
the  chosen  people  of  God ;  and  could  say,  "  Stand  by  thyself, 
come  not  near  me,  for  I  am  hoHer  than  thou."  That  this  was 
no  chance  language,  but  their  common  opinion  of  other  people, 
more  fully  appears,  by  considering  the  circumstances  which  at- 
tended when  God  was  beginning  to  fulfil  his  precious  promises 
concerning  the  gathering  of  the  Gentiles. 

The  Most  High,  in  a  vision,  undeceived  Peter,  first  prepared 
his  heart  to  believe,  and  at  the  house  of  Cornelius  showed  him 
of  a  certainty  that  God  is  no  respecter  of  persons. 

The  effjsion  of  the  Holy  Ghost  upon  a  people,  with  whom 
they,  the  Jewish  Christians,  would  not  so  much  as  eat,  was  strange 
to  them.  All  they  of  the  circumcision  were  astonished  to  see  it ; 
and  the  apostles  and  brethren  of  Judea  contended  with  Petoi 
about  it,  till  he  having  rehearsed  the  whole  matter,  and  fully 
shown  that  the  Father's  love  was  unlimited,  they  are  thereat 
struck  with  admiration,  and  cry  out,  "  Then  hath  God  also  to  the 
Gentiles  granted  repentance  unto  life." 

The  opinion  of  peculiar  favours  being  confined  to  them,  was 
deeply  rooted,  or  else  the  above  instance  had  been  less  strange  to 
them,  for  these  reasons :  First,  They  were  generally  acquainted 
with  the  writings  of  the  prophets,  by  whom  this  time  was  repeat- 
edly spoken  of,  and  pointed  at.  Secondly,  Our  blessed  Lord 
shortly  before  expressly  said,  "  I  have  other  sheep,  not  of  this 
fold,  them  also  must  I  bring,"  &c.  Lastly,  His  words  to  them 
after  his  resurrection,  at  the  very  time  of  his  as'^ension,  "Ye  shall 

(   5   ) 

be  witnesses  to  me,  not  only  in  Jerusalem,  Judea,  and  Samaria, 
but  to  the  uttermost  parts  of  the  earth." 

These  concurring  circumstances,  one  would  think,  might  have 
raised  a  strong  expectation  of  seeing  such  a  time ;  yet  when  it 
came,  it  proved  matter  of  offence  and  astonishment. 

To  consider  mankind  otherwise  than  brethren,  to  think  favours 
are  peculiar  to  one  nation,  and  to  exclude  others,  plainly  supposes 
a  darkness  in  the  understanding :  for  as  God's  love  is  universal, 
so  where  the  mind  is  sufficiently  influenced  by  it,  it  begets  a  like- 
ness of  itself,  and  the  heart  is  enlarged  towards  all  men.  Again, 
to  conclude  a  people  froward,  perverse,  and  worse  by  nature  than 
others,  who  ungratefully  receive  favours,  and  apply  them  to  bad 
ends,  will  excite  a  behaviour  toward  them  unbecoming  the  excel- 
lence of  true  religion. 

To  prevent  such  an  error,  let  us  calmly  consider  their  circum- 
stance :  and  the  better  to  do  it,  make  their  case  ours.  Suppose 
then  that  our  ancestors  and  we  had  been  exposed  to  constant  ser- 
vitude, in  the  more  servile  and  inferior  employments  of  life  ;  that 
we  had  been  destitute  of  the  help  of  reading  and  good  company; 
that  amongst  ourselves  we  had  had  but  few  wise  and  pious  in- 
structors ;  that  the  rehgious  amongst  our  superiors  seldom  took 
notice  of  us ;  that  while  others  in  ease  had  plentifully  heaped 
up  the  fruit  of  our  labour,  we  had  received  barely  enough  to  re- 
lieve nature ;  and  being  wholly  at  the  command  of  others,  had 
generall}^  been  treated  as  a  contemptible,  ignorant  part  of  man- 
kind ;  should  we,  in  that  case,  be  less  abject  than  they  now  are  I 
Again,  if  oppression  be  so  hard  to  bear,  that  a  wise  man  is  made 
mad  by  it,  Eccl.  vii.  7,  then  a  series  of  oppressions,  altering  the 
behaviour  and  manners  of  a  people,  is  what  may  reasonably  be 

When  our  property  is  taken  contrary  to  our  mind,  by  means 
appearing  to  us  unjust,  it  is  only  through  Divine  influence,  and 
the  enlargement  of  heart  from  thence  proceeding,  that  we  can 
love  our  reputed  oppressors.  If  the  negroes  fall  short  in  this, 
an  uneasy,  if  not  a  disconsolate  disposition  will  be  awakened, 
and  remain  like  seeds  in  their  minds,  producing  sloth  and  other 
habits  which  appear  odious  to  us ;  and  with  which,  had  they 
been  free  men,  they  would  not  perhaps  have  been  chargeable. 
These,  and  other  circumstances,  rightly  considered,  will  lessen  the 
too  great  disparity  which  some  make  between  us  and  them. 

Integrity  of  heart  has  appeared  in  some  of  them ;  so  that  if  we 
continue  in  the  word  of  Christ,  and  our  conduct  towards  them  be 
seasoned  with  his  love,  we  may  hope  to  see  the  good  effect  of  it. 
No.  85.— 1  * 

(   6   ) 

This,  in  a  good  degree,  is  the  case  with  some  into  whose  hands 
they  have  faJlen ;  hut  that  too  many  treat  them  otherwise,  not 
seeming  conscious  of  any  neglect,  is,  alas  !  too  evident. 

AVhen  self-love  presides  in  our  minds,  our  opinions  are  biassed 
in  our  own  favour ;  and  in  this  condition,  being  concerned  with 
a  people  so  situated  that  they  have  no  voice  to  plead  their  own 
cause,  there  is  danger  of  using  ourselves  to  an  undisturbed  par- 
tiahty,  until,  by  long  custom,  the  mind  becomes  reconciled  with 
it,  and  the  judgment  itself  infected. 

To  apply  humbly  to  God  for  wisdom,  that  we  may  thereby  be 
enabled  to  see  things  as  they  are,  and  as  they  ought  to  be,  is  very 
needful.  Hereby  the  hidden  things  of  darkness  may  be  brought 
to  light,  and  the  judgment  made  clear :  we  shall  then  consider 
mankind  as  brethren.  Though  different  degrees  and  a  variety 
of  qualifications  and  abilities,  one  dependent  on  another,  be  ad- 
mitted, yet  high  thoughts  will  be  laid  aside,  and  all  men  treated 
as  becometh  the  sons  of  one  father,  agreeably  to  the  doctrine  of 
Christ  Jesus. 

"He  hath  laid  do\ATi  the  best  criterion,  by  which  mankind 
ought  to  judge  of  their  own  conduct,  and  others  judge  for  them 
of  theirs,  one  towards  another,  viz.  '  Whatsoever  ye  would  that 
men  should  do  unto  you,  do  ye  even  so  to  them.'  I  take  it,  that 
all  men  by  nature  are  equally  entitled  to  the  equity  of  this  rule, 
and  under  the  indispensable  obhgations  of  it.  One  man  ought 
not  to  look  upon  another  man  or  society  of  men  as  so  far  beneath 
him  that  he  should  not  put  himself  in  their  place,  in  all  his  ac- 
tions towards  them,  and  bring  all  to  this  test,  viz.  How  should  I 
approve  of  this  conduct,  were  I  in  their  circumstance,  and  they 
in  mine  ?" 

This  doctrine  being  of  a  moral  unchangeable  nature,  hath  been 
likewise  inculcated  in  the  former  dispensation;  "If  a  stranger 
sojourn  with  thee  in  your  land,  ye  shall  not  vex  him ;  but  the 
stranger  that  dwelleth  with  you  shall  be  as  one  born  amongst 
3'ou,  and  thou  shalt  love  him  as  thyself."  Had  these  people 
come  voluntarily  and  dwelt  amongst  us,  to  call  them  strangers 
would  be  proper ;  and  their  being  brought  by  force,  with  regret 
and  a  languishing  mind,  may  well  raise  compassion  in  a  heart 
rightly  disposed  :  but  there  is  nothing  in  such  treatment  which, 
upon  a  wise  and  judicious  consideration,  will  in  any  way  lessen 
their  right  to  be  treated  as  strangers.  If  the  treatment  which 
many  of  them  meet  with  be  rightly  examined,  and  compared 
with  those  precepts,  "Thou  shalt  not  vex  him  nor  oppress  him ; 
he  shall  be  as  one  born  amongst  you,  and  thou  shalt  love  him  as 

( 1 ) 

thyself,"  there  will  appear  an  important  difference  between 

It  may  be  objected  that  there  is  the  cost  of  purchase,  and  ris:k 
of  their  lives  to  them  who  possess  them,  and  therefore  it  is  need- 
ful that  they  make  the  best  use  of  their  time.  In  a  practice  just 
and  reasonable,  such  objections  may  have  weight ;  but  if  the 
work  be  wrong  from  the  beginning,  there  is  little  or  no  force  in 
them.  If  I  purchase  a  man  who  has  never  forfeited  his  liberty, 
the  natural  right  of  freedom  is  in  him ;  and  shall  I  keep  him  and 
his  posterity  in  servitude  and  ignorance  ?  "  How  should  I  ap- 
prove of  this  conduct,  were  I  in  his  circumstances,  and  he  in 
mine  ?"  It  may  be  thought,  that  to  treat  them  as  we  would  will- 
ingly be  treated,  our  gain  by  them  would  be  inconsiderable  : 
and  it  were,  in  divers  respects,  better  that  there  were  none  in 
our  country. 

We  may  further  consider,  that  they  are  now  amongst  us,  and 
people  of  our  nation  were  the  cause  of  their  being  here ;  that 
whatsoever  difficulty  accrues  thereon,  we  are  justly  chargeable 
with,  and  to  bear  all  inconveniences  attending  it  with  a  serious 
and  weighty  concern  of  mind  to  do  our  duty  by  them,  is  the  best 
we  can  do.  To  seek  a  remedy  by  continuing  the  oppression, 
because  we  have  power  to  do  it,  and  see  others  do  it,  w^ill,  I 
aj^prehend,  not  be  doing  as  we  would  be  done  by. 

How  deeply  soever  men  are  involved  in  difficulties,  sincerity 
of  heart,  and  upright  walking  before  God,  freely  submitting  to 
his  providence,  is  the  most  sure  remedy.  He  only  is  able  to  re- 
lieve, not  only  persons,  but  nations  in  their  greatest  calamities. 

To  act  continually  with  integrity  of  heart,  above  all  narrow  or 
selfish  motives,  is  a  sure  token  of  our  being  partakers  of  that 
salvation  which  "  God  hath  appointed  for  wails  and  bulwarks," 
and  is,  beyond  all  contradiction,  a  more  happy  situation  than  can 
ever  be  promised  by  the  utmost  reach  of  art  and  power  united, 
not  proceeding  from  heavenly  wisdom. 

A  supply  to  nature's  lawful  w^ants,  joined  with  a  peaceful, 
humble  mind,  is  the  truest  happiness  in  this  life  ;  and  if  we  ar- 
rive at  this,  and  continue  to  walk  in  the  path  of  the  just,  our  case 
w^ll  be  truly  happy.  Though  herein  we  may  part  with,  or  miss 
of  the  glaring  show  of  riches,  and  leave  our  children  little  else 
but  wise  instructions,  a  good  example,  and  the  knowledge  of 
some  honest  employment ;  these,  with  the  blessing  of  Providence, 
are  sufficient  for  their  happiness,  and  are  more  likely  to  prove  so, 
than  laying  up  treasures  for  them,  which  are  often  rather  a  snare 
than  any  real  benefit ;  especially  to  those  who,  instead  of  being 

(  8  ) 

exampled  to  temperance,  are  in  all  things  taught  to  prefer  the 
getting  of  riches,  and  to  eye  the  temporal  distinctions  they  give, 
as  the  principal  business  of  this  hfe.  These  readily  overlook 
the  true  happiness  of  man,  which  results  from  the  enjoyment  of 
all  things  in  the  fear  of  God,  and  miserably  substituting  an  infe 
rior  good,  dangerous  in  the  acquiring  and  uncertain  in  the  frui- 
tion, they  are  subject  to  many  disappointments,  and  every  sweet 
carries  its  sting. 

It  is  the  conclusion  of  our  blessed  Lord  and  his  apostles,  as 
appears  by  their  lives  and  doctrines,  that  the  highest  delights  of 
sense,  or  most  pleasing  objects  visible,  ought  ever  to  be  accounted 
infinitely  inferior  to  that  real  intellectual  happiness,  suited  to  man 
in  his  primitive  innocence,  and  now  to  be  found  in  true  renova- 
tion of  mind  ;  and  that  the  comforts  of  our  present  life,  the  things 
most  grateful  to  us,  ought  always  to  be  received  with  temperance, 
and  never  made  the  chief  objects  of  our  desire,  hope,  or  love ; 
but  that  our  whole  heart  and  affections  be  principally  looking  to 
that  "city,  which  hath  foundations,  whose  maker  and  builder  is 
God."  Did  we  so  improve  the  gifts  bestowed  on  us,  that  our 
children  might  have  an  education  suited  to  these  doctrines,  and 
our  example  to  confirm  it,  we  might  rejoice  in  hope  of  their 
being  heirs  of  an  inheritance  incorruptible. 

This  inheritance,  as  Christians,  we  esteem  the  most  valuable  ; 
and  how  then  can  we  fail  to  desire  it  for  our  children  ?  O  that 
we  were  consistent  with  ourselves,  in  pursuing  the  means  neces- 
sary to  obtain  it ! 

It  appears  by  experience,  that  where  children  are  educated  in 
fulness,  ease,  and  idleness,  evil  habits  are  more  prevalent  than 
is  common  amongst  such  who  are  prudently  employed  in  the 
necessary  affairs  of  hfe.  If  children  are  not  only  educated  in 
the  way  of  so  great  temptation,  but  have  also  the  opportunity  of 
lording  it  over  their  fellow-creatures,  and  being  masters  of  men 
in  their  childhood,  how  can  we  expect  otherwise  than  that  their 
tender  minds  will  be  possessed  with  thoughts  too  high  for  them ; 
which  gaining  strength  by  continuance,  will  prove  like  a  slow 
current,  gradually  separating  them  from  or  keeping  from  acquaint- 
ance with  that  humility  and  meekness  in  which  alone  lasting  hap- 
piness can  be  enjoyed. 

Man  is  born  to  labour,  and  experience  abundantly  showeth, 
that  it  is  for  our  good :  but  where  the  powerful  lay  the  burden 
on  the  inferior,  without  affording  a  Christian  education,  and  suit- 
able opportunity  of  improving  the  mind,  and  a  treatment  which 
we,  in  their  case,  should  approve,  in  order  that  themselves  may 

(  9  ) 

live  at  ease,  and  fare  sumptuously,  and  lay  up  riches  for  their 
posterity;  this  seems  to  contradict  the  design  of  Providence, and, 
I  doubt  not,  is  sometimes  the  effect  of  a  perverted  mind ;  for  wdiile 
the  life  of  one  is  made  grievous  by  the  rigour  of  another,  it  entails 
misery  on  both. 

Amongst  the  manifold  works  of  Providence,  displayed  in  the 
different  ages  of  the  world,  these  which  follow,  with  many  others, 
may  afford  instruction. 

Abraham  was  called  of  God  to  leave  his  country  and  kindred, 
to  sojourn  amongst  strangers.  Through  famine,  and  danger  of 
death,  he  was  forced  to  flee  from  one  kingdom  to  another ;  yet, 
at  length,  he  not  only  had  assurance  of  being  the  father  of  many 
nations,  but  became  a  mighty  prince.  (Gen.  xxiii.  6.) 

Remarkable  were  the  deahngs  of  God  with  Jacob  in  a  low 
estate;  the  just  sense  he  retained  of  them  after  his  advancement, 
appears  by  his  words :  "  I  am  not  worthy  of  the  least  of  all  thy 

The  numerous  afflictions  of  Joseph  are  very  singular;  the 
particular  providence  of  God  therein,  no  less  manifest:  he  at 
length  became  governor  of  Egypt,  and  famous  for  wisdom  and 

The  series  of  troubles  which  David  passed  through,  few  amongst 
us  are  ignorant  of;  and  yet  he  afterwards  became  as  one  of  the 
great  men  of  the  earth. 

Some  evidences  of  the  Divine  wisdom  appear  in  those  things, 
in  that  such  who  are  intended  for  high  stations,  have  first  been 
very  low  and  dejected, that  Truth  might  be  sealed  on  their  hearts; 
and  that  the  characters  there  imprinted  by  bitterness  and  adver- 
sity, might  in  after  years  remain,  suggesting  compassionate  ideas, 
and,  in  their  prosperity,  quicken  their  regard  to  those  in  the  like 
condition.  This  yet  further  appears  in  the  case  of  Israel ;  who 
were  well  acquainted  with  grievous  sufferings,  a  long  and  rigorous 
servitude ;  and  then,  through  many  notable  events,  were  made 
chief  amongst  the  nations.  To  them  we  find  a  repetition  of  pre- 
cepts to  the  purpose  abovesaid :  though,  for  ends  agreeable  to  in- 
finite wisdom,  they  were  chosen  as  a  peculiar  people  for  a  time ; 
yet  the  Most  High  acquaints  them,  that  his  love  is  not  confined, 
but  extends  to  the  stranger ;  and  to  excite  their  compassion,  re- 
minds them  of  times  past,  "Ye  were  strangers  in  the  land  of 
Egypt."  Again,  "Thou  shalt  not  oppress  a  stranger,  for  ye 
know  the  heart  of  a  stranger,  seeing  ye  were  strangers  in  the 
land  of  Egypt." 

If  we  call  to  mind  our  beginning,  some  of  us  may  find  a  time, 

(  10  ) 

wherein  our  fathers  were  under  afflictions,  reproaches,  and  mani- 
fold sufferings. 

Respecting  our  progress  in  this  land,  the  time  is  short  since  our 
beginning  was  small  and  number  few,  compared  with  the  native 
inhabitants.  He  that  sleeps  not  by  day  nor  night,  hath  watched 
over  us,  and  kept  us  as  the  apple  of  his  eye.  His  Almighty  arm 
hath  been  round  about  us,  and  saved  us  from  dangers. 

The  wilderness  and  sohtary  deserts  in  which  our  fathers  passed 
the  days  of  their  pilgrimage,  are  now  turned  into  pleasant  fields ; 
and  while  many  parts  of  the  world  have  groaned  under  the  hea\y 
calamities  of  war,  our  habitation  remains  quiet,  and  our  land 

When  we  trace  back  the  steps  we  have  trodden,  and  see  how 
the  Lord  hath  opened  a  way  in  the  wilderness  for  us,  to  the  wise 
it  will  easily  appear,  that  all  this  was  not  done  to  be  buried  in 
oblivion,  but  to  prepare  a  people  for  more  fruitful  returns ;  and 
the  remembrance  thereof  ought  to  humble  us  in  prosperity,  and 
excite  in  us  a  Christian  benevolence  towards  our  inferiors. 

If  we  do  not  consider  these  things  aright,  but  through  a  stupid 
indolence,  conceive  views  of  interest  separate  from  the  general 
good  of  the  great  brotherhood,  and,  in  pursuance  thereof,  treat  our 
inferiors  with  rigour,  to  increase  our  wealth  and  gain  riches  for 
our  children;  "What  then  shall  we  do  when  God  riseth  up? 
and  when  he  visiteth,  what  shall  we  answer  him  ?  did  not  he  that 
made  us,  make  them?  and  did  not  one  fashion  us?" 

To  our  great  Master  we  stand  or  fall,  to  judge  or  condemn  us 
as  is  most  suitable  to  his  wisdom  or  authority  ;  my  inclination  is 
to  persuade,  and  entreat,  and  simply  give  hints  of  my  way  of 

If  the  Christian  religion  be  considered,  both  respecting  its  doc- 
trines and  the  happy  influence  which  it  hath  on  the  minds  and 
manners  of  all  real  Christians,  it  looks  reasonable  to  think,  that 
the  miraculous  manifestation  thereof  to  the  world  is  a  kindness 
beyond  expression. 

Are  we  the  people  thus  favoured  ?  Are  we  they  whose  minds 
are  opened,  influenced,  and  governed  by  the  Spirit  of  Christ,  and 
thereby  made  sons  of  God  ?  Is  it  not  a  fair  conclusion,  that  we, 
hke  our  heavenly  Father,  ought  in  our  degree  to  be  active  in  iLe 
same  great  cause  of  the  eternal  happiness  of,  at  least,  our  whole 
families,  and  more,  if  thereto  capacitated  ? 

If  we,  by  the  operation  of  the  Spirit  of  Christ,  become  heirs 
with  him  in  the  kingdom  of  his  Father,  and  are  redeemed  from 
the  alluring  counterfeit  joys  of  this  Avorld,  and  the  joy  of  Christ 

( 11 ) 

remain  in  us;  to  suppose  that  one  in  this  happy  condition  can, 
for  the  sake  of  earthly  riches,  not  only  deprive  his  fellow-crea- 
tures of  the  sweetness  of  freedom,  which,  rightly  used,  is  one  of 
the  greatest  temporal  blessings,  but  therewith  neglect  using  pro- 
per means  for  their  acquaintance  with  the  Holy  Scriptures,  and 
the  advantage  of  true  religion,  seems  at  least  a  contradiction  to 

Whoever  rightly  advocates  the  cause  of  some,  thereby  pro- 
motes the  good  of  all.  The  state  of  mankind  was  harmonious 
in  the  beginning,  and  though  sin  hath  introduced  discord,  yet 
through  the  wonderful  love  of  God  in  Christ  Jesus  our  Lord,  the 
■way  is  open  for  our  redemption,  and  means  appointed  to  restore 
us  to  primitive  harmony.  That  if  one  suffer  by  the  unfaithful- 
ness of  another,  the  mind,  the  most  noble  part  of  him  that  occa- 
sions the  discord,  is  thereby  alienated  from  its  true  and  real  hap- 

Our  duty  and  interest  are  mseparably  imited,  and  when  we 
neglect  or  misuse  our  talents,  we  necessarily  depart  from  the 
heavenly  fellowship,  and  are  in  the  way  to  the  greatest  of  evils. 

Therefore  to  examine  and  prove  ourselves,  to  find  what  har- 
mony the  power  presiding  in  us  bears  with  the  Divine  nature,  is 
a  duty  not  more  incumbent  and  necessary,  than  it  would  be 

In  Holy  Writ  the  Divine  Being  saith  of  himself,  "  I  am  the 
Lord,  which  exercise  loving-kindness,  judgment  and  righteous- 
ness in  the  earth  ;  for  in  these  things  I  delight,  saith  the  Lord." 
Again,  speaking  in  the  way  of  man,  to  show  his  compassion  to 
Israel,  whose  wickedness  had  occasioned  a  calamity,  and  then 
being  humbled  under  it,  it  is  said,  "  His  soul  was  grieved  for  their 
miseries."  If  we  consider  the  life  of  our  blessed  Saviour,  when 
on  earth,  as  it  is  recorded  by  his  followers,  we  shall  find  that  one 
uniform  desire  for  the  eternal  and  temporal  good  of  mankind, 
discovered  itself  in  all  his  actions. 

If  we  observe  men,  both  apostles  and  others,  in  many  different 
ages,  who  have  really  come  to  the  unity  of  the  Spirit,  and  the 
fellowship  of  the  saints,  there  still  appears  the  like  disposition; 
and  in  them  the  desire  for  the  real  happiness  of  mankind  has 
out-balanced  the  desire  of  ease,  liberty,  and,  many  times,  of  hfe 

If,  upon  a  true  search,  we  find  that  our  natures  are  so  far  re- 
newed, that  to  exercise  righteousness  and  loving-kindness,  accord- 
ing to  our  ability,  towards  all  men,  without  respect  of  persons,  is 
easy  to  us,  or  is  our  dehght ;  if  our  love  be  so  orderly  and  regu- 

(   13  ) 

lar,  that  he  who  doeth  the  will  of  our  Father,  who  is  in  heaven, 
appears  in  our  view  to  be  our  nearest  relation,  our  brother,  and 
sister,  and  mother ;  if  this  be  our  case,  there  is  a  good  foundation 
to  hope,  that  the  blessing  of  God  will  sweeten  our  treasures  during 
our  stay  in  this  life,  and  that  our  memory  will  be  savoury,  when 
we  are  entered,  into  rest. 

To  conclude.  It  is  a  truth  most  certain,  that  a  life  guided  by 
wisdom  from  above,  agreeably  with  justice,  equity  and  mercy,  is 
throughout  consistent  and  amiable,  and  truly  beneficial  to  society; 
the  serenity  and  calmness  of  mind  in  it,  affords  an  unparalleled 
comfort  in  this  life,  and  the  end  of  it  is  blessed. 

And  it  is  no  less  true,  that  they  who  in  the  midst  of  high 
favours  remain  ungrateful,  and  under  all  the  advantages  that  a 
Christian  can  desire,  are  selfish,  earthly  and  sensual,  do  miss  the 
true  fountain  of  happiness,  and  wander  in  a  maze  of  dark  anx- 
iety, where  all  their  treasures  are  insufficient  to  quiet  their  mmds ; 
hence,  from  an  insatiable  craving,  they  neglect  doing  good  ,/ith 
what  they  have  acquired,  and  too  often  add  oppression  to  vanity, 
that  they  may  compass  more. 

"  O  that  they  were  wise,  that  they  understood  this,  that  they 
would  consider  their  latter  end !"